Down from the trees (updated)

One of the tree-sitting protestors illegally attempting to block construction of new athletic facilities next to Memorial Stadium at the University of California has fallen from his perch and sustained serious injury. Charles Burress of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Nathaniel Hill, who fell at least 30 feet on Sunday night, was in stable condition at Highland Hospital in Oakland, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.

"It's just kind of a fluke that it happened," the 24-year-old Hill said in a phone interview from his hospital bed Monday afternoon. He said he broke his wrist and ankle, both of which are in casts.
A fluke? Hardly. As a UC spokesman points out later in the article, the illegal protestor would have sustained no injuries had he been obeying the law and stayed out of the trees. Later int he article he attempts to blamce UC Berkeley for his plight because of fencing that was errected around the trees, making it difficult for him to switch from tree to tree.

I take no joy in the injuries to Mr. Hill, and hope Hill recovers, both physically and mentally. He is not making a lot of sense. This statement is unreal:
Hill said he asked to be taken to Highland Hospital because that's where he was born, although he was raised in Buffalo, N.Y. He said he came back to the Bay Area to participate in the tree protest.
Highland Hospital in Oakland is the public hospital for this part of Alameda County. Like most county medical facilities in the United States, it does not enjoy as high a reputation for excellence as a readily available alternative. Roughly ten blocks away from the stadium is Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, by general consensus the most well-regarded hospital in the East Bay, and nationally prominent.

So why would someone presumably in acute pain choose to ride several miles to an inferior public hospital? Could it have anything to do with a possible lack of health insurance? The last I checked, illegal tree sitting does not come with a good medical plan.

The story of some sort of sentimental tie to Highland strikes me as a propaganda ploy. I am very interested in knowing whether I, as a taxpayer in Alameda County, am going to get stuck with the medical bills for Nathaniel Hill.

Update: David Cone writes:

Highland Hospital is the trauma center for northern Alameda County.

If you are pruning a tree, and you fall 30 feet to the ground from any tree in northern Alameda County, and the EMTs determine you need a trauma evaluation, you will go to Highland Hospital regardless of your insurance status or personal preference. If your tree is in south county or east county, you will go to Eden Medical Center, again regardless of preference or insurance status. If your child falls out of a tree and needs a trauma activation, he or she will go to Childrens Hospital Oakland.

For that matter, if an Alta Bates employee falls off the roof of the Alta Bates emergency department, he or she will be transported directly to Highland Hospital. Alta Bates is a fine hospital, but it is not a trauma center.